Friday, December 10, 2010

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! And A Hard Look At Giving

So, what do you get when you combine six inches of snow, shopping for presents, decorating for Christmas, and vacation anticipation?

Very. Excited. Kids.  :)  What else?

first snow 3

We were putting the last of the lights on the outdoor trees when the first flakes started to fall.  I’m glad we hurried to get them done before last weekend’s storm.  They look beautiful at night!  First Snow

There is something extra special about the first snow of the season.  Especially when it comes before Christmas and lingers.  Even shopping seems more fun.  :)

And speaking of shopping, I’m not done yet.  Close.  But not quite there.  How about you?  I’m still thinking things through.

You know how we say that our giving of gifts is kind of  symbolic of the wonderful gift God gave us in Jesus?  Well, our pastor challenged that thinking this week. 

Gift giving is not bad, he said.  But he wondered if we are giving to the right people.  450 Billion dollars/year are spent in America ALONE on gift-giving.  If Jesus is the reason for the season, than shouldn’t our gifts be given as He gave?  How so?

Jesus healed the sick.

He raised the dead.

He cleansed the lepers.

He drove out demons.

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 

Matthew 11:28

Jesus gave to the truly needy.  He met actual needs.

We end up spending too much money, on too many gifts, for too many people who will use them too little.

Pastor Ken challenged us to examine our family’s giving at Christmas time and to find ways to really give as Jesus gave. 

Our church is raising money for the Nyaka School for AIDS orphans in Uganda.  We will be helping to ensure that the children of a second school in a village nearby have clean drinking water. 

As a family, we are thinking of contributing to this special Christmas Eve offering in the name of several family members whom we normally exchange with.  One idea of how to do it is to make the contribution, then print out little certificates of donation in their name and tuck them in a card.   

We have done something similar in the past with Samaritan’s purse.  Instead of exchanging gifts with extended family, we put our resources together to make as many shoebox gifts as possible.  Our family made up the boxes, while relatives donated the money for shipping.

I’m really liking the idea.  What do you think?


Mari said...

That snow sure does make everything look beautiful!
I agree with you on spending and what we are spending on. I'm guilty because I love this excuse to buy things for those I love, but they really don't need it. I am done for this year but it does make me think about next year!

Mari said...

It's beautiful!
I agree with you on money spent on gifts. I'm guilty because it gives me an excuse to buy for those I love. I'm done for this year but you have made me think about next year.